Sunday, 19 May 2013

Preparing to paint

It is the merry month of May. Exactly eight years since EI/MCS came into my life. I am hoping to paint my apartment with a non-toxic paint recommended by a local Environmental Doctor, Farrow and Ball (very expensive!). Testing for a few days is looking hopeful, it does not appear to be triggering illness. Tomorrow I will paint a small area and see how that goes, the back of the bathroom door so that if a reaction arises I can close the door!

If the door paint is safe, next step is the whole bathroom. If that is not toxic, the other main rooms will be done, except the bedroom - sanctuary in case of reactions.

It was in 2005 when I last painted my apartment, eight years ago, when chemical sensitivities became apparent (within months of starting use of Bi Yan Pian). I was so ill from the paint I had to stay at my parents' house for about six months before it was safe to return home. The Universe provides, and during that time my father died; it was a gift to spend some of his last days with him that otherwise would have been missed.

This is my biggest spring cleaning in years. An online Feng Shui course has convinced me of the benefit of reducing clutter, so the local thrift shop has received many drop-offs in the past few weeks. Feels great! Apart from aesthetics, Feng shui says that clearing a space  correlating to an aspect of our life will improve our prospects in that area, be it health, or family or other issues. We shall see, I am willing to explore new possibilities for health and happiness!

I have been able to hire a helper in this paint preparation process (thanks to generous family assistance with finances), a man who understands about chemical sensitivities and is able to be fragrance-free. It is an enormous relief just to be able to trust the presence of a person not to do harm. Being accustomed to a lot of isolation, it is refreshing to have pleasant company for a while.

On the other hand, Mother's Day was another disappointment due to a bad reaction to fragrances from family members who are inconsistent when it comes to being scent free. I had to leave shortly after arriving and am sadly thinking I cannot attend family events any more, because the situation is not improving despite many years of efforts at education about the seriousness of Environmental Illness and my dependence on their cooperation. My friends cannot comprehend this lack of support and neither can I, but apparently it is not uncommon for people with sensitivities, unfortunately.

I could get depressed about feeling isolated, but choose instead to say "When God closes a door, She opens a window", so if siblings are not to be my social support system, others will step in. Meanwhile I plan to learn how to connect online more with people via chatrooms or Skype, and use the phone more, to make sure my mental health does not suffer. At the same time, for spiritual growth solitude is beneficial; praying for the right balance.

Fresh air and sunshine is a great mood stabilizer and stress reliever; happily my garden is now underway a short bicycle ride away. The bike was in the shop this week, now ready for fun finding the right amount of exercise that keeps me well, helps with weight loss and diabetes control, yet not so much as to trigger mercury symptoms like swollen muscles and sleeplessness.

Every month the mercury symptoms are a little bit less. I don't need epsom baths as often to control twitcing/spasms/cramps, once a week is enough (vs. every 2-3 days last summer). My muscles are much stronger, I turned over my garden soil in two visits on my own, that's the best strength I've had in many years. It is easy now to walk, no gait instability or concrete-heavy legs, rare loss of balance. I've had no more episodes of speech problems, expressing or comprehending, like last year (that was scarey!). No longer having regular muscle and joint pains . . . what a relief!

Last week cleaning apartment walls with "TSP" caused two teeth to became so painful it required an emergency visit to the dentist, who explained it was a sensitivity reaction. I rinsed the TSP off the walls and the pain went away after a few days. There seems to be no end to the variety of symptoms that can arise with exposures to chemicals!

For today, I am gratefully symptom-free and very excited at the prospect of a fresh coat on my home, all decluttered and reorganized; a fresh start.

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